With the first phase of fundraising complete, the Oxford House Preservation Project is turning to the World Wide Web to raise the remaining funds needed to restore the historic home.
With the effort to cover moving costs a success, the next step is to raise money needed to renovate and restore the home and make it a functional part of the Stephenville Museum.
Searching for a way to get the remaining money needed to make the project complete, Sheri Knight, chair of the project's steering committee, searched for funding opportunities that would generate a lot of money, fast. Knight said in her search, she discovered the Pepsi Refresh Project, an Internet-based grant opportunity.
According to www.refresheverything.com, the competition is calling on individuals, businesses and non-profits with ideas that will have a positive impact on their communities. As Knight discovered, anyone can submit their idea, but Pepsi only accepts 1,000 entrants each month. Once the ideas are Pepsi-approved, like the local project was, supporters can vote for their favorite idea every day.
"The top two projects in this ($250,000) category will receive funding," Knight said.
Finalists are expected to be named Dec. 1.
While Knight said many community members dug into their pockets to make the first round of funding a success, the latest effort only requires a few seconds every day throughout November and 28 clicks (one vote per day) of your computer's mouse.
"The only way we have a chance to win is if everyone pulls together and votes every day in November," Knight said. "Please, tell your friends, relatives and networks to get in on helping win this contest."
What's in store for the Oxford House?
According to the Pepsi campaign pitch, posted by Knight at the grant contest website, the "Save a 'Painted Lady' from Demolition" project will prevent the home's historic architecture from being destroyed, while also adding another unique structure to the Stephenville Museum.
Knight said once it is relocated, the Oxford House will provide space for indoor activities for children attending Camp Pioneer; host rotating exhibits that highlight local and regional contributions by families, organizations and businesses to Stephenville's history; house a research center that includes documents, maps and photographs for history enthusiasts and genealogists; host local events; and much more.
The funds will be used to assist in the relocation of the Oxford House, put a new roof on the weathered structure, reconnect and repair utilities, repair and update the interior and provide landscaping.
How to vote
• Going to the Pepsi Refresh Project website, www.refresheverything.com, register, enter "Stephenville" in the search engine at the top of the web page. A short video will tell you about the project. Vote. To make casting your daily votes easier, Knight suggests bookmarking the page.
• You may also cast your ballots on facebook, http://apps.facebook.com/pepsirefresh/idea/view/id/08a7caba-004c-102e-be05-0019b9b9e205.
• If you have a busy schedule, you may vote from your cell phone by text messaging: Pepsi at 73774, enter 103986 in the body of the message.